Politics > Political Life in Society > Social Responsibility: CG1 > Arenas of Commitment

Arenas of Societal Commitment

Society accommodates Diversity

The 7 arenas of societal commitment (and hence political commitment or responsibility) encompass a great diversity of activities and organizations.

Finding arenas where commitment is natural and feels appropriate generates a readiness to accept responsibility (within limits). You may wish to give freely of your time and even your money; or, if you are more socially or politically inclined, you may seek to make a living within one of the arenas.

ClosedWhere are most people engaged?  

ClosedPolitical Players v the Rest of Us

Arenas, Activities & Careers

Arena for
Social Activities
Career Politicians
7 Communal Needs Participate in community events; keep abreast of news; meet with volunteers and heads of charities; act as a volunteer; visit citizen-advice centres; talk with relevant experts.

Careers: ClosedService professions and many industries, given that most needs are met by businesses (e.g. clothing, shelter, food, recreation, travel); community and charity organizations.
Idealistic politicians often get their start working in community service organizations.

They think: “Politics is about improving people’s lives.
6 Moral Institutions Attend meetings about moral issues; read widely; write up tales of injustice and wickedness; join debates with church representatives and politicians; set an example.

Careers:Closed In the church, government, parts of academic human and social sciences (e.g. history, sociology).
All politicians have to position themselves securely on moral issues.

Ideological politicians may start here thinking: “Politics is about raising public consciousness.
5 The Public Interest Monitor activities and outputs of public interest groups, powerful people and organizations.

Careers: Closed Investigative journalism, news reporter, editor; work on current affairs programs in the media; work in public advocacy.
Populist politicians start here in campaigning and advocacy work.

Like Cicero, they think:
The welfare of the people is the ultimate law.”
4 Societal
Read the daily papers; be prepared to re-orient your business; do research, or offer consultancy to capitalize, handle or debunk the issue. A few enter politics due to being fired up by an issue.

Riding a controversial issue can bring any politician into public prominence—which may help or hinder a career.
3 Official Decisions Get elected to the unpaid executive of your membership body or of your community association.

Careers:ClosedServe in a membership organization, hold a senior post in the public service, lead a socially-focused not-for-profit association, or work in an industry representative body. 
In some countries, politicians are drawn from the business class.

Such CEOs think:
"Politics is about making decisions."
2 Rule of Law Know the law relevant to your life and work.

Careers:Closed Become a policeman, lawyer, or probation officer; join the government’s legal department; provide legal aid for the indigent. 
Many politicians have a legal background.
1 Group Power Join the organization looking after your financial position and social status, then: pay dues, attend meetings, debate priorities, raise awareness of others, participate in lobbying activities, know the agenda.

Careers:Closed Become a politician; work for your membership organization; work for industry umbrella bodies.  
Many politicians start off as representatives of public interest groups within society or labour organizations.

In authoritarian regimes, military and business people often become politicians.

Originally posted: August-2009; Last updated: 5-July-2014

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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